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Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Home Security, Locks And Keys, Locksmith Information |

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Replacing A Lock

The Do’s And Don’ts Of Replacing A Lock

Replacing your lock is not always an easy task, keeping in mind the importance of security. Generally, change is good, but if the right procedures are not taken when changing your locks, serious consequences may follow. Here is a sneak peak of what to do and what not to do when changing your locks.
Resources:
greshamlocksmith.org
kwikset.com
lowes.com

The Do’s

  • BrandsDecide whether you need the same brand of lock or a new one. Determine which lock brand and type you have now, and decide whether you want a new brand or this old one will be okay. If you are going for a new brand, some modifications may need to be done, but if you are going for the same brand, few or nor modifications will be required. For instance, if you are changing from a mortise style lock to a night latch, some modifications will have to be made to allow the new lock to fit well.
  • Ensure that the new lock satisfied the industry security standards. The new lock must satisfy the set standards, or it will compromise your security and insurance plans.
  • Remove the interior knob and the decorative cover with care before installing the new one. Having decided which brand you will go for, you now need to prepare for the replacement itself. Remove the interior knob carefully, then proceed to remove the decorative cover. This should be an easy task, especially if your lock is based on a simple configuration. Disassemble the parts and remove the latch.

The Don’ts

  • Don’t replace the lock yourself if you are not sure of the procedure. Replacing your locks may lead to far-reaching and catastrophic repercussions if it is not done in the right way. This is not a do-it-yourself task that you can do using trial and error methods. It is a serious task that gives a new dimension to the security detail of your house. For this reason, it should be done by professionals.
  • Don’t choose a lower standard of the lock. Locks come in various standards. It is not advisable to replace a lock with another one on a lower standard. Remember the standards of the lock you have normally affects insurance, security level and peace of mind. Go for higher lock standards to be on the safer side.
  • Don’t change the size of the lock. Locks also come in various sizes, and one is advised to stick to the original size, to avoid lock snapping. Check for the sizing descriptions carefully so that you don’t find yourself trying to fit a square peg in a round hole after the replacement.

In summary, the first step in securing your property is having a properly locked door. This explains you need to replace your lock whenever you have lost your keys, you have got a new roommate or your old lock is damaged. It is always good to go for the better options when replacing a lock. For example, if there has been a break-in robbery in your house, you may need to replace the old lock with a new one of a higher standard.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Home Security, Locksmith Information |

How Many People Hold the Keys to Your House?

How Many People Hold the Keys to Your House?

A lock with multiple keys doesn’t make sense, especially if some of those keys are in the hands of strangers. Ironically, the keys to your lock may be with unknown people, without you being aware of the situation. Most buyers who purchase mass-produced locks don’t look into this apparent danger. simply put, the chances of a few others having the keys to a lock produced in multiple quantities can never be ruled out.

Most retailers have only limited quantities of multiple keys for every brand of lock sold. In fact, the number could be as low as below 20 or 10.

For instance, a company makes 30,000 non-identical keys. The firm constantly rotates the several thousand key codes being shipped to retailers. But one is not sure how often the inventory is being rotated by retailers. As a result, it’s quite possible for seven deadbolts to have the same key.
Resources:
Mesa Locksmith Pros
homedepot.com
schlage.com

Key Exchange

Key exchangeFriends often exchange keys among themselves. Having a spare key with another person makes it easier to execute things when you’re not around. For instance, your friend could receive your mail when you are out of town. And you feed the friend’s puppy when your friend is likely to return home late. When you lose your key, you know there is a spare at your friend’s place. While this arrangement works out well as a backup, this form of exchange cannot be taken lightly.

It’s extremely intimate to let another individual into your house when you aren’t around, letting them browse through the exposed stuff. This approach, at times, makes it difficult to keep tab of the number of people holding the keys to your house.

Re-Keying a New House

New House1If you’ve moved into a new house, it’s possible a complete stranger could be awaiting your return home after a day of shopping. The individual may not necessarily be a burglar – he could be the friend of the previous owner who’s not aware his friend doesn’t stay at the place anymore.

This makes it vital to rekey a new house. Because you just don’t know the number of people the ex-owner has handed over the house’s keys to – parents, friends, children, girlfriend, etc. If a property agent was involved in your real estate purchase, multiple copies of the house’s key are possible too. There are also chances of foreclosed owners returning back and taking stuff from existing owners or renters.

The earlier the rekeying, the better. In fact, have the new house rekeyed by a locksmith even before transporting appliances, furniture and other household items into the space. Rekey locks opening up the front door, main entry, back doors, etc. Other entry point locks, if any, must also be rekeyed such as mailbox doors, garage and basement doors.

Safety Recommendations

It is unlikely for a criminal to buy bunches of locks to locate a key matching yours. But consider how many times you handover your keys to neighbors, for car wash, valet, etc.

According to safety experts, it’s recommended to have the house key and car key not tied to each other. If you are willing to spend more for safety, invest in locks that need a custom key and which can’t be duplicated.

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Posted by on Jan 22, 2016 in Home Security |

DIY Home Security Tips

DIY Home Security Tips

Home security is something that most people take seriously but what are some of the steps the average homeowner can take to minimize chances of burglary without having to wire the entire house with booby-traps? The FBI estimates that at least one burglary happens every 15 seconds in the U.S. With such high numbers and local law enforcement reporting increased incidents in some of the more secure neighborhoods, one has to consider a way to secure the house even on a minimum budget.

If the idea of installing a top-of-the-line home security system sounds good to you but you can’t afford it, don’t cancel out security; there are still a number of things that you can do to make sure no one gets into your home.
Resources:
www.lasvegaslocksmithpros.com
homedepot.com
lowes.com

Effective DIY Home Security Tips

Step 1: Light it up

  • home security lightsStatistically an intruder is most likely to target houses without proper exterior lighting. The solution here is simple enough, just make sure the exterior of your house is fully illuminated, and make use of motion-detector spotlights and other devices.
  • When travelling, always use timers on indoor lighting to give the impression of life-as-normal. You can get manual and digital timers at your local hardware store or online.

Step 2: Clear up the landscape

  • Dense shrubs can make ideal hideouts for thugs so keep the hedges low and plants near entrances trimmed and neat.
  • Tall trees have been used multiple times to access high windows and other entry-points in the home so make sure to keep the trees short or well-trimmed.

Step 3: Install good locks

  • august smart lockDoors that only carry a handle lock make great targets for home invasion because they don’t require a lot of physical effort to unlock. Add a strong deadbolt at each entry to make it more challenging for an outsider to unlock the doors. A good deadbolt incorporates a thumb latch on the inside and a key to unlock from the outside.
  • Install using a set of heavy-duty screws and combine that with a reinforcement plate to make the door more secure.
  • Install a wide-angle peephole in your front door so you can see who’s knocking before you answer.
  • Consider adding a patio bar or sturdy piece of wood to prevent the patio door from sliding open if the lock is damaged. A sturdy item placed on the open track can significantly improve security.
  • When leaving for more than a day, secure the garage door by inserting a bolt that stops the door from being slid open.

Step 4: Secure the house keys

  • It is NOT a good idea to hide spare house keys in ’secret’’ hideouts on your compound because clever burglars know which flower pot to turn over.
  • Watch how you handle spare keys and who you allow to keep a copy. Remember you may not control situations in which the keys may be duplicated, but you do have control over who has a copy of your house keys.

Step 5: Seal all windows

  • Oftentimes windows make the weakest link in home security because homeowners do not realize they pose a particular vulnerability and simply ignore them.
  • A modern window comes with sash locks but you can have a locksmith add another layer of security in case your integrated window lock gets compromised. A hole drilled from front to back where the upper and lower window panes overlap can stop the window from opening; just drive a long nail in the hole when the windows are locked.

Step 6: Install home security system

  • Alarm SystemWith a onetime purchase you can get a low-cost decent home security system complete with infrared motion detection and sensors to warn you when someone tries to access your home through windows or locked doors. These types of systems usually incorporate a “pet alley’’ settings that you can use to keep detection just above regular paths.
  • Make a thorough inventory of all the valuables in your home and use a camera to take a tour of your home, documenting where your valuables are, and save the film and any other relevant documentation, e.g. receipts or ownership documentation, on a safety deposit box. If burglary incident ever occurs, you will have proof that you lost valuable items and your film may be of help to the police and your insurer.

These are simple solutions which if followed, will keep you alert and minimize chances of home intrusion. Remember to contact the authorities if you suspect someone may be trying to access your house without your permission.

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Posted by on Nov 9, 2015 in Locksmith Information |

The Difference Between Rekeying And Changing Your Locks

The Difference Between Rekeying And Changing Your Locks

Home security is one of greatest concern for every homeowner. Indeed, you need your family to stay safe at all times; you need your property or valuables to be kept in a good condition and safely, and so on. As a matter of fact, the above objective can only be achieved if your home is well protected by powerful locks. Now that some of the state-of-the heart locks secure your house/home, there comes a time when these devices fail to offer its esteemed service(s) efficiently and effectively. Well, there are various reasons as to why locks become defective; failure for the key to open the lock is of course one of the most common problems in security locks. Equally, there are several reasons as to why you may need to change your lock(s), which include stalking issues, lost keys, you have just moved into a new home or apartment, your roommate has just moved out, your employee who had a spare key has just been shown the door, and many more….the list is just endless.

Ideally, when locking system fails, you have to look for quick solutions; otherwise, you will be locked outside or your properties face the risk of being vandalized. There are two common ways of fixing such a kind of problem: changing the entire looking system or re-keying the lock. Now the question is: what is the difference between rekeying and changing a lock? For more information, visit the best local locksmiths in Burbank at burbanklocksmith.org.

 

Rekeying a Lock

 

new locksPrimarily, the difference in the above two terms becomes quite clear by analyzing the conditions under which each option is more viable. When your esteemed locksmith re-keys your lock, he/she simply does that by making another set of new keys for the same lock you had in your home. After doing that, he/she proceed to reset the entire lock mechanism so that it can work perfectly with the new key instead of any other key. As a matter of fact, when you move in or purchase another new home, you need to secure your properties by rekeying the locking system. This is because, the former users of your new home might be having many other duplicate keys, and if they are persons of ill-fated characters, they might be tempted to check into your home when you are away.

Another situation that will require you to opt for re-keying instead of changing the entire hardware looking mechanism is when you have lost your keys or you are in possession of worn out keys that need immediate replacement. In this case, your locksmith will have the task of creating new keys for you that will be used to operate the same locking mechanism. Similarly, this is another great way of having extra keys for your house.

 

In most cases, rekeying is a better option than doing a complete overhaul of your locking system. Indeed, many people do not realize that opting for rekeying a lock is cheaper than lock replacement. In fact, it is not necessary that you have to hire expert locksmith to carry out rekeying activity for you. The good news is that most home improvement store(s) offer a do-it-yourself lock rekeying manual or kit, which is great for those people who are handy with machinery and tools.

 

Changing a lock

 

lock changeThe process of changing a lock is not quite simple as compared to rekeying a lock. However, there are some situations when replacing/changing a lock is better than rekeying. Indeed, changing and replacing a lock means that you have to uninstall the entire lock system from your door (in most cases, it consists of 4 to 6 screws), and then mount another new lock on its place. It should be noted that, during replacement, you would receive another set of keys along the new lock hardware.

You may wish to replace/change the entire locking system if your lock(s) is damaged or when its condition is poor or weak. Indeed, if someone had recently broken-in or tampered with your locks in an attempt to get into your house, then you need to consider complete lock changing.

 

Conclusion

It does not matter which option you choose, the truth of the matter is that your home security will not reduce. In other words, if you consider lock replacement/changing, you will be given another set of keys alongside the new lock hardware. Similarly, if you opt for rekeying, the old keys will no longer operate your locks since the inner mechanism will be altered just to accept the new keys.

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